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July 5th, 2004

Eight Dollar Tape Player

Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel."
-- Horace Walpole

"It is important to express oneself...provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience". -Berthe Morisot

I am not much of a persimmon man. They have a persistent way of not being ripe.
Although I must admit that there is a passing pleasure in that wince from biting into an unripe persimmon, I could probably safely forego that pleasure for life.

I have this fantasy about getting a freeware program which permits one to softsynth an entire recording without tape hiss. I also have a competing fantasy, though, about singing folk songs on my eight dollar Coby cassette tape recorder, and sounding all authentic, notwithstanding the tape hiss.

So many creative urges are like biting that persimmon. It so rarely seems to be ripe. Yet there's some pleasure in seeing a stack of half-eaten persimmons. It's better to have bitten and winced than never to have bitten at all.

I am taking today to rest and enjoy the holiday. But I want to think today about things I can do that I would find meaningful and real.

Ten Ways to Know You Are Alive

1. Glance at many specks on your hand while gardening, just after you first notice that minty-fresh sensation of fire ants protecting their nest.

2. Listen to the cry of "kill deer, kill deer", as birds greet your coming, and then watch them leave as quickly as possible

3. Lift the baseball cap off your head, and admire the way that perspiration has enlivened your hair.

4. Look off into the distance, where the sky has both brilliant blue and storm purple, and wonder whether to the east they live in a rainy paradise or a sunny hell.

5. Notice how the woman at the nursery politely bites her tongue when you utter an inanity about stonecrop sedum.

6. Marvel at how the Twilight Zone reruns still enwrap you in awe.

7. Long for fireworks you were too unwilling to brave crowds to see up close.

8. Miss a departed relative.

9. Enjoy the smile your dog gives you because your spouse gave her a bath.

10. During a chess game in which each side has only three minutes to make all of his or her moves, win your opponent's queen, and then make the move which inevitably loses your queen and the game three moves later.

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